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# Help with calculating printing costs

Posted by silver310
 Help with calculating printing costs March 24, 2015 06:36AM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 2
Hello, new to this forum and 3D printing in general.

We are thinking about getting a 3D printer for our company, we but a lot of PC open frames (custom made) and they are really expensive, and we haven't found a cheaper place to make them, so now we are thinking about printing them on location.

I would like to get an estimate from experienced users about cost to print one frame and the time it would take, also i'm curios about strength, this things don't need to hold much weight but people do abuse them from time to time, so i wonder how long it can last.

I've attached some pictures, this things cost us around 100\$ now.

Size:

Main frame = 34.5X30X0.8
Legs = 7.5X2X2

Weight = 750 (plate+legs)

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/24/2015 06:54AM by silver310.
 Re: Help with calculating printing costs March 24, 2015 09:56AM Registered: 5 years ago Posts: 869
Your part weighs 750 grams and if your Polycarbonate filament costs \$88/kg, your material cost is ~\$66 if you print it solid. If you print it at < 100% infill, then your material costs will go down somewhat proportionally once you account for the solid external layers.

Print time will depend on what your printer is capable of doing. From the PC wiki page, it looks like faster printing is possible by increasing the temperature. We'll be conservative and use 50mm/sec for the calculation. I like to print at .2mm layer height with a width of .5mm. 50mm length has a volume then of .2*.5*50=5 mm^3. So 5 cubic mm every second. Your parts have a total volume of 948 cm (not excluding any holes or gaps). 948 cubic cm / 5 cubic mm per second = 52 hours. And that's impossibly optimistic as it assumes constant speed and doesn't account for acceleration/deceleration curves, gaps, travel, etc. Even if you double speed and printed at 1/2 infill, you're still probably looking at 18-24 hours, minimum, realistically. Add in that your part will be quite large, thin, and likely needs to be pretty flat and I bet you'll also find you have warping and delaminating issues before you even start to handle it.

For your frames, I'd look at getting a CNC router instead of a 3D printer. It's going to give you a final product far faster and with less issues for just a flat sheet type of object.
 Re: Help with calculating printing costs March 24, 2015 11:44AM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 52
If I was to make something like that, I'd cut the plate out of acrylic with a laser cutter and then print the small pieces out of PLA.

A laser cutter or a CNC machine is nearly as easy to build as a 3D printer. It's the same thing but with a laser or a router instead of a heated nozzle.
 Re: Help with calculating printing costs March 24, 2015 01:33PM Registered: 5 years ago Posts: 869
Quote
kre8
If I was to make something like that, I'd cut the plate out of acrylic with a laser cutter...
I had thought of that prior to suggesting the CNC router, but he specifically mentioned polycarbonate (PC). PC can't be easily/cleanly cut by laser so that's why I suggested the milling.
 Re: Help with calculating printing costs March 24, 2015 02:29PM Registered: 4 years ago Posts: 2
Quote
cdru
Quote
kre8
If I was to make something like that, I'd cut the plate out of acrylic with a laser cutter...
I had thought of that prior to suggesting the CNC router, but he specifically mentioned polycarbonate (PC). PC can't be easily/cleanly cut by laser so that's why I suggested the milling.

I didn't mean polycarbonate, I meant a computer.

I actually don't know what material it's made from.
 Re: Help with calculating printing costs March 26, 2015 08:37AM Admin Registered: 6 years ago Posts: 2,407
If you pay a 100\$ for getting that cut to specs, then you are paying way too much for it.

Look for a different supplier would be my advice. 3D-printing flat surfaces will trouble you a lot, warping etc. Cutting it from plate is much better.

However, your question could be clearer, if I may be so free to speak

http://www.marinusdebeer.nl/
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